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Picture a New School

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a tiny K-12 school in Blanco, Texas, is hoping that a collection of pictures— many by world-famous photographers—is worth the price of a new school building.

The 17-student private school, in the dry, rolling hills northwest of San Antonio, is struggling to make ends meet, said founder Patricia Percival.

Her students follow a traditionalist curriculum, in "three very, very, very broken-down mobile homes," far from the beautiful, safe, environmentally friendly schoolhouse that she envisions.

But Ms. Percival said she was "blown away" last fall when photographer Robb Kendrick and his wife, writer Jeannie Ralston, who have sons ages 5 and 7 at the school, offered to organize the fund-raiser—and 35 world-class photographers contributed images for sale.

Mr. Kendrick, who has shot a dozen features for National Geographic, said nearly every photographer for the magazine that he approached agreed to participate.

"They are a tight-knit group," he said. "If they think they can help a cause that’s a good cause, they’re not afraid to jump in and do it."

The 53 images are vivid, often stunning depictions of subjects from around the world, including wild animals and other nature scenes, the lives of children and women, Americana, and people in distinctive national garb. Many of the images have appeared in, or on the cover of, the famous magazine.

Mr. Kendrick gave six images of his own. Five of them, of modern-day cowboys, were created through the same tintype process that the Civil War photographer Matthew Brady used.

The unsigned, gallery- quality prints sell for $165, including shipping and handling.

The school is authorized to sell an unlimited number of the prints, offered at least through September at www.renaissance-

—Andrew Trotter

Vol. 23, Issue 36, Page 3

Published in Print: May 12, 2004, as Take Note

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